Julia and I just got back yesterday afternoon from a lovely trip up north. The main reason for my trip was to give a presentation to the Kappa chapter at Northeastern University in Boston, but a side benefit was visiting with our family in Connecticut/Rhode Island/Massachusetts. After traveling by myself with Julia I always feel like SuperMom and this was no exception!
I was a little nervous going into this trip because Julia started to develop a bit of a cold/cough last week. I was also nervous about the logistics of traveling with a toddler who can now run all over the place and does not like to be held immobile for any length of time and about bringing our convertible carseat with us. As she usually does though, Julia proved to me what a wonderful traveler she is!
Our flight was Friday morning… after getting dressed and having breakfast we stopped for gas and then headed to the airport. The hardest part of traveling is always before you get through security… especially traveling by myself with Julia, I had to figure out how to get her out of the car and then how to get Julia, myself, our suitcase, her carseat and my carry-on bag safely to the airport and through security. I’m not going to make this a “how to travel with a toddler” blog post since there are already plenty of those in the blogosphere, but let’s just say I took a lot of their advice: in our diaper bag I packed two changes of clothes for Julia, more diapers than I anticipated needing, wipes and boogie wipes, some toys, some books, lots of snacks, two sippy cups of milk, water for myself, my iPad which was loaded with baby-friendly apps and movies, etc. I wore Julia in the Ergo, checked the suitcase and carseat and just brought one big diaper bag/carry-on with everything we needed. Here we were after checking in and heading through security!
I changed her diaper right before they started boarding the plane to ensure a dry diaper until we landed. Nursing is great for lots of reasons… but one of the many reasons is that it puts Julia to sleep on airplanes! I started to nurse Julia just before we were getting ready to take off and she fell asleep during take off and slept until about a minute before landing. Here she was sleeping in my arms on the plane:
I felt a little silly that I packed a bag full of things for her to do and play with and we ended up not needing any of them! I was stuck playing on my phone the whole time since one arm was occupied holding Julia. But I was very grateful that when we got off the plane, a number of people commented about how great Julia was on the plane and about how quiet she was. Success!
My father-in-law picked us up from the airport and then we had the challenge of installing Julia’s carseat in his car. It took a bit of elbow grease and was definitely a two-person job but we figured it out and headed back to my inlaws’ house, where Julia got to play with her cousins, Marlee and Jonah, for the afternoon. Now that Julia is old enough to really play with them, I love watching the three of them together. Marlee and Jonah try to teach her things and the three of them are very loving toward one another. It’s so great to see. Here was Marlee showing Julia some fun games on her iPad:
Julia was babbling and Jonah said to her, “Julia, that’s Zaydie!” It was very cute how he was trying to teach her. Julia had a lot of fun playing with Zaydie’s stethoscope: (I thought Ken would be particularly proud of her in this picture!)
Friday night we had a lovely Shabbat dinner together as a family. It was sad that Ken couldn’t be with us but he got in a good full weekend of studying without Julia and I to distract him, so it was probably good that we were away for the weekend.
Then, we drove to Sharon, MA to the home of Auntie Debbie & Uncle David. The whole family descended upon their house… Paige, Shana and Lee came, as did Nana and some other visitors I didn’t get a chance to see. The kids played with all the new toys Debbie bought for them, they had pizza for lunch and from what I hear, had a great time! I left shortly after we arrived at their house for my presentation at Northeastern. Here are a couple photos of Julia having fun with her cousins:
When I got back from my presentation, we all went to Olive Garden for dinner. You don’t need details but let’s just say it was the dining-out-with-a-toddler-nightmare! Julia did not have a good nap while I was at my presentation–probably because there was so much going on around her and it was hard to settle down with all the noise and excitement. So by the time we got to dinner she was over-tired. Let’s just say there was a lot of screaming, three of us tried walking around the restaurant with her, I tried nursing her to sleep in my arms (where she slept peacefully for about 20 minutes), and nothing really worked. If it had been just me and Ken, we would have left immediately but because there were so many of us there, it wasn’t possible to just leave. For a brief moment I thought about putting her in the car and just driving around the parking lot in circles. Thankfully, we all survived!
After lunch Mona drove Julia and me back to the airport and we checked in for our flight home. Our flight home was just as successful as our flight there… Julia fell asleep just before takeoff and woke up just before landing. We got our luggage, got back to the car and made it home in time for dinner with Ken!
It was a great trip but it is always good to get home!